Thursday, November 26, 2015

From Ian:

IsraellyCool: Intentions And Goals Are Everything
At the risk of boring everyone with another Sam Harris post…. here’s another Sam Harris post. It’s an extract from a long interview he gave to Salon. Despite the fact that he has been attacked by Salon. Funnily enough most of the attention this will get will be because Sam explained what the problem is with Salon and that bit they cut from the interview. Fortunately Sam’s published the whole thing on his site.
But the bit I’m pulling out leads into his views on Israel.
And it starts from the point of view of “intentions and goals” as the interview says. This is a central point I’ve made over and over. It is the root of the asymmetry in casualties and what you can learn from who gets killed here.
When Palestinian children die under IDF fire it was NEVER the intention.
When Jewish children die at the hands of Palestinian terrorists it was the intention.
Sam makes this crystal clear invoking something I’ve said, glibly, many times:
we know that the Israelis aren’t genocidal because it is well within their power to commit genocide today, and they’re not doing it. That’s a very important difference.
As I have said many times, Jews have excelled in so many areas (except professional golf): so why do we suck so badly at genocide! Ever since we started “genociding” the Palestinians their population has grown and grown.
If you ever see anyone quoting numbers killed as basketball statistics without pointing out this fundamentally true imbalance, you have nothing further to learn from that person.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Dangerous lunacy: When the elites scapegoat Israel
“We will conquer Rome and then the two Americas … the Jews, Christians and Communists must all be killed, to the last one …" "...the Jews are planning to blow up Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
This is the propaganda being disseminated in the media, sponsored by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and sometimes also by the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank. In other words, the ISIS leaders’ idea of conquering Rome is actually shared by all the Islamic Jihad organizations. Hamas actually said the same things long before ISIS. In this sense, there is no difference between the global jihad perpetrating mass murder in Paris and the global jihad trying to kill Jews in Israel.
Yet Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom is supplying explanations, and even rationalizations, for the global jihad. These aren’t murderers. They’re just desperate. And their despair has driven them to carry out mass murder in Paris, Jerusalem, London and Madrid. According to her, these murderers are actually freedom activists. They’re only trying to push forward a settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians, to end the occupation. Well, we can demand that Wallstrom listen to what they are really saying: They do not want peace. They do not want two states for two peoples. They do not want an end to the Israeli occupation. They want an Islamic empire that will rule the entire world.
That includes Sweden. Meanwhile, we should note, they are killing mostly Muslims. They’re doing it in Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most of the jihadists wouldn’t know how to point to Israel on a map. But Wallstrom claims that they are killing and murdering and sowing destruction in the world because of the Palestinians. Is she serious?
Heartbreaking video shows the faces of Israeli victims
As daily Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis continue - and while many international media outlets choose to downplay Israeli suffering - Israel Hayom journalist Lital Shemesh felt she needed to do something to raise awareness of the 22 Israelis murdered so far in shootings, stabbings and car-ramming attacks.
The short but powerful video she produced in response quickly went viral when she posted it on her Facebook page, garnering nearly 8,000 shares in just one day.
"As an Israeli who lives in the the shadow of the recent wave of terror I decided that this can't go on," she told Arutz Sheva. "People are being slaughtered here in the streets and we don't hear the world media condemn the acts or support Israel.
"I understood that the time had come to show the world how I feel in a short film, without any narration, which shows the pictures of those who were murdered over the past two months."
Towards the end of the film a visibly emotional Shemesh can be seen fighting back tears - a reaction she said was entirely spontaneous, as her sense of grief overcame her.
Israeli journalist Lital Shemesh reveals 22 lives killed by Palestinians

Abbas Tells Kerry No One Can Stop Violence – at Same Time PA Promotes It
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has ended his three-day trip to Israel by listening to a claim by Mahmoud Abbas that no one can stop “lone wolf” terrorists, while at the same time the Palestinian Authority continues to incite violence.
Kerry met with the Palestinian Authority chairman in Ramallah on Wednesday and restricted his comments in public to saying that he is doing what he can “to try to help contribute to calm and to restore people’s confidence in the ability of a two-state solution to still be viable.”
Arab media said that Abbas told Kerry that no one can stop terror attacks carried out by individuals acting on their own.
The same day, the official Palestinian Authority WAFA website again did its best to promote hate and violence instead of stopping it.
Palestinians Get Their Wish
For many on the left, the answer is obvious. They believe tough security measures are “counter-productive” and sow the seeds for more terrorism. They also believe it is in Israel’s interest to leave the territories so as to separate the two peoples and preserve Israeli democracy.
But such a response would be deeply wrong-headed. The first obligation of any government is to defend the safety of its people. While no security measure is foolproof, Israel must do whatever it can to make it harder for these individual acts of terror to take place. And Israel’s leaders must make it clear to the Palestinians that Jewish blood is not to be spilled with impunity.
As for separating the two peoples, in principle that is something most Israelis would applaud. But in practice, the overwhelming majority knows it is impractical even if there were no West Bank settlements. A unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank would only create another larger and more dangerous version of the Gaza terrorist state created by Ariel Sharon’s 2005 pullout from the strip. Withdrawing the settlers while keeping troops to ensure security would do nothing to improve Israel’s diplomatic standing or image, since its critics would say the occupation continues. And the surrender of settlements without a real peace agreement that compels the Palestinians to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state will, as it did in Gaza, only whet their appetite for more Israeli retreats.
Thus, Netanyahu has no choice but to do what he must, even if means bringing down more abuse from Israel’s enemies. That’s why this is a moment when those who claim to be Israel’s friends must stop acting as if they were its judges and start behaving like its allies. Whether you are right or left, whether you like Netanyahu or despise him, those who believe Jews have a right to live in peace and security must support Israel’s efforts to prevent more bloodshed. As it has for the last 67 years as its people have waited for and prayed for peace, Israeli democracy will continue to thrive. Israel can afford to wait until a sea change in Palestinian political culture will make peace possible because there is no rational alternative to such patience.
Netanyahu: No plans to arm PA security forces
Israel is not planning to approve arms for the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security forces or any other “gesture” to the PA, including the release of terrorists, sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Arutz Sheva on Wednesday evening.
The clarification came following reports that the IDF had issued a recommendation to the political echelon that the PA security forces be given armored vehicles, weapons and ammunition so as to let them enter terror hotbeds that they are more familiar with than the IDF.
The sources told Arutz Sheva that the security cabinet convened for a discussion on Wednesday evening in which the current wave of terrorism was discussed, but that no practical decisions had been made.
The earlier report said that the IDF had made a series of recommendations to the political leadership, including enlarging the amount of work permits given to Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria - particularly for young Arabs - allowing them to enter sovereign Israeli territory.
It also called to enlarge the number of Arab building permits in Area C of Judea and Samaria, which is under full Israeli control according to the Oslo Accords, and to release Arab prisoners, potentially including seasoned terrorists.
Palestinian shot dead after attempted stabbing attack in West Bank
Security forces shot and killed a Palestinian after an attempted stabbing at the Tapuah Junction in the West Bank on Thursday.
Police said that the attacker suddenly jumped out of his car at a Border Police position and ran at the forces stationed there with a knife in his hand. The forces responded by shooting him. Large numbers of Border Police forces and IDF soldiers arrived at the site following the attack.
The incident happened at the same place where a number of Israelis were wounded in an attempted vehicular ramming attack on Tuesday.
Three soldiers and a Border Police officer were wounded in that attack.
Policeman: If my comrades hadn't acted so quickly I'd be dead
A Border Policeman credited two of his comrades Thursday with saving his life when they reacted alertly to a terrorist attack in Samaria.
Sergeant S. said that "if my comrade warriors had not operated so quickly and professionally, it is very likely that I would not be standing here today."
"We are stationed at the checkpoint all day and night and are required to maintain maximal alertness and readiness. This was how things stood when a terrorist armed with a knife suddenly lunged at us and tried to stab be before being neutralized."
The incident took place at about 9:00 AM Thursday. A taxicab from Shechem neared the Tapuah Intersection. Suddenly an Arab with a knife drawn came out and ran toward the Border Policemen.
The terrorist attempted to stab one of the warriors at the checkpoint. Two Border Policemen, Corporal D. and Sergeant D., identified the terrorist, immediately cocked their guns and carried out accurate gunfire toward the terrorist. He was neutralized and was later classified as being dead.
Rioter killed in clashes with IDF, 100th Palestinian fatality of current terror wave
A Palestinian was killed while throwing a Molotov cocktail at soldiers during a security raid on the West Bank village of Katana, south of Ramallah on Thursday morning, the IDF said.
He was the one hundredth Palestinian fatality of the current terror wave that has hit Israel and the West Bank.
Soldiers had conducted a search around a suspected home when a clash broke out involving several rioters, who threw large rocks and firebombs at soldiers, an army spokeswoman added.
Soldiers first responded with non-lethal crowd control means, but when they spotted a suspect hurling firebombs, they felt their lives to be in danger, and directed live fire at the suspect, striking and killing him, according to the spokeswoman.
During the raid, soldiers arrested five suspects and seized ammunition, knives, binoculars, and IDF uniforms and equipment.
11-year-old who stabbed train guard: ‘I wanted to die a martyr’
The 14-year-old allegedly convinced his younger cousin to carry out an attack. The two first boarded a bus and looked for the opportune moment and target.
“We travelled from Shuafat to Damascus Gate in order to stab a soldier but did not do it because the soldiers were in groups and we didn’t find one standing alone,” recalled the 11-year-old. “Then he told me ‘let’s do an attack together to revenge the death of Muhammad Ali.’ He opened his bag and showed me the knife. At Damascus Gate I bought a pair of scissors and then we boarded the light rail and looked for Jews to stab.”
Two light rail security guards boarded the train, but the boys decided “not to stab them because there were two of them. Later on one of them got off and we immediately attacked the one that remained.”
“I stabbed him in his head, my cousin stabbed him in his chest and stomach until the guard pushed me and fired three bullets in my stomach,” said the 11-year-old.
The two cousins had decided they were ready to die as shahids, or martyrs, he said. The younger one said in the interrogation that none of their family members knew about their intentions.
“I wanted to die as a shahid but now I understand I made a mistake and I am sorry,” he was quoted saying.
A Blockade on Ramallah
Armed and masked Arab terrorists blockade the exit from Ramallah/Kalandia to Jerusalem. Nov. 26, 2015
For reasons unknown, armed and masked Arab terrorists blocked the exit from Ramallah/Kalandia to Jerusalem today.
Those are some very impressive-looking weapons the terrorists are holding, and so close to Jerusalem too.
Ramallah is under control of the Palestinian Authority… or maybe not.
Fighting Facebook, terror victim’s son enlists Knesset in anti-incitement war
Micah Avni marked four weeks since the burial of his father killed in a Jerusalem terror attack by visiting the Knesset Wednesday, where he urged lawmakers to do more to quash social media incitement in hopes of heading off another tragedy like the one that left his father dead.
Richard Lakin, a US-born teacher and peace activist living in Jerusalem, was shot and seriously wounded on October 13. Even before his father succumbed to his injuries two weeks later, Avni had begun campaigning against social media incitement, with Lakin named as lead plaintiff in a 20,000-complainant-strong lawsuit against Facebook.
The hearing on online incitement in the Knesset’s Science and Technology Committee was requested by MKs Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) and Dov Khenin (Joint List).
Avni told The Times of Israel that he had reached out to Knesset members asking them to consider passing laws that would force social media sites to take down material that calls for the killing of Jews and Israelis, or incites to violence in any way. If regulations prohibiting the posting of incitement were put into place, then companies—not only local, but also foreign-based—that did not comply with them would be banned from operation in Israel.
An Open Letter to Imam Ahmad on the Murder of Ezra Schwartz
Dear Imam Abdul Rahmam Ahmad,
I read the text of the condolence letter that you wrote the Jewish community of Boston following the recent murder of 18-year-old Ezra Schwartz by Palestinian terrorists.
As the father of a young woman who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in Israel in 1995, I appreciated the fact that you, as the imam of the Islamic Center of New England, spoke out.
I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of your expression of “great sadness” that Ezra “had his life brutally cut short in Israel….” I am glad to know that, as you put it, “The Islamic community at Sharon has always categorically condemned such violent acts based on our firm belief that Islam enjoins us to be a people who bring peace and harmony to the world.” Especially poignant was your statement that, “Although I cannot comprehend your loss, please know that during this time I share in your pain…Your families will be in my and my family’s hearts, and in our prayers.”
And you concluded with the ancient Hebrew expression that we say to Jewish mourners, “Hamakom yenachem et’chem b’toch shar avay’lay Zion ve’Yerushalayim [May God comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem].” That was a nice touch.
Yet after reading your letter, dear Imam, I found myself a bit puzzled. For some reason, you made no reference to who it was that “cut short” Ezra’s life, and what motivated the killer. Those are important points. After all, Ezra did not die in some random accident. He was murdered in cold blood. By Palestinian terrorists. Who were acting out of self-declared Islamist motives.
Ya'alon: Israel intends to build security fence between Hebron, Kiryat Gat
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon informed the Knesset on Wednesday evening that the security establishment intends to construct a security fence, separating the West Bank city of Hebron and the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat.
Ya'alon's remarks came in response to a motion filed by Likud MK Mickey Zohar in light of multiple Palestinian assistants having reached the Lakhish Regional Council and carried out terror attacks in recent months.
"We are aware of the issue of the fence, and now with the budgetary approval for the massive fence we plan to build one similar to the border fence with Egypt - it will take some time but it will happen," the defense minister vowed.
On Friday, a terrorist stabbed and wounded four Israelis — including a 13-year-old girl — in Kiryat Gat.
Deputy minister: Deport terrorist families to Canada, Australia'
The Israeli government has enacted a raft of measures aimed at deterring potential Arab terrorists, including home demolitions, tougher sentencing and other punitive moves.
But speaking to Arutz Sheva Thursday, Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan said expelling the families of terrorists would be an even more effective deterrent.
"The best way to deter terror attacks is to expel the terrorist from Israel," he said. "We can deport them to Gaza, and it is in accordance with the Oslo Accords as well. In my opinion, we can also talk about deportation to Canada or Australia. It is clear to me that once we deport one family, we will not have to deport any more".
Ben Dahan added that the Security and Diplomacy Cabinet also recently approved revoking resident status and citizenship from terrorists and denying of work permits to terrorists' relatives. In addition, he said, demolition of terrorists' homes has begun to be carried out, after a long time in which this was not done.
Where Are The Solidarity Hashtags?: Israel Sustained 620 Terror Attacks in OCTOBER ALONE
You have not seen an international flurry of solidarity hashtags and Israeli flag avatars adorning people's Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. And you won't. That is the double standard at play when the victims of terror are Israeli rather than French. Yet in just one month alone Israel endured 620 terror attacks, which left 11 dead including two Americans.
According to Israel's domestic security institution, Shabak, October proved to be the country's most violent month this year due to a spike in Palestinian terrorism that began in mid-September.
A breakdown of the 620 terror attacks, as reported by CNSNews, yielded: 483 firebombing incidents, 57 IED-attacks, 42 stabbings, 28 shooting sprees, five rocket attacks, three vehicular assaults, and at least one each of attacks in which chemical gas and an anti-tank missile was used.
The violence claimed the lives of 11 and left more than 80 innocent people injured -- 37 of whom were injured "moderately or more severely." Yet the international community takes it in stride, in fact blames Israel for the carnage.
Hamas: Stabbing an Israeli isn't 'terrorism'
Hamas is taking issue with statements by Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that Israel has the right to defend itself from the current wave of Arab terrorism.
In fact, several Hamas officials who responded angrily to Kerry’s comments said that the current wave of knife attacks against Israelis should not even be called terrorism.
Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy chairman of the Palestinian parliament and a senior member of the Hamas leadership, said that Kerry’s remarks were "a green light for the continued Zionist aggression against our people (the Palestinians)" and that "the American justification for the Zionist crimes proves again the extent of the moral and inhumane deterioration of the American administration in its policy toward the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the Palestinians."
Mousa Abu Marzouk, a member of Hamas' political bureau, strongly denounced Kerry's remarks, and declared that Hamas will not agree to having the "Palestinian struggle" be referred to as "terrorism".
The Center for Democracy and Human Rights also condemned Kerry, saying his remarks "encourage the occupation to kill Palestinians."
IDF confiscates 8 Palestinian buses in Nablus
Israeli forces confiscated eight Palestinian public transportation buses early Thursday morning in the West Bank city of Nablus, Israel Radio reported.
The army reportedly told Palestinians the buses were taken because they were being used to transport demonstrators to clashes at checkpoints with Israeli troops.
The buses, reported to belong to the Al-Tamimi company, were mainly used on the Nablus-Ramallah route as well as for routes within Nablus, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
Ma’an said that the buses had been taken to an IDF base south of Nablus, where they would be held “until further notice.”
Europe’s ‘most watched news channel’ obfuscates Kerry’s criticism of Palestinian terror
EuroNews, “the most watched news channel in Europe”, raised some eyebrows earlier when the following headline appeared on their website.
Echoing the headline, the opening passage of the article claimed that the US Secretary of State denounced the recent “spate of violence between Israelis and Palestinians” as “acts of terrorism” at a press conference in Jerusalem following a meeting with Israel’s prime minister.
However, as multiple media reports made clear, Kerry was specifically denouncing “Palestinian” terrorism, not “violence between Israelis and Palestinians”
More inaccuracies and political propaganda from the BBC’s Lyse Doucet
Doucet’s narrative has no room for clarification to BBC audiences of the fact that checkpoints did not exist anywhere in the area before the Palestinians decided to launch the terror war known as the second Intifada fifteen years ago.
Once again Lyse Doucet has produced a report which does nothing to contribute to the BBC’s public purpose remit of building “understanding of international issues” but which is a vehicle for the amplification of opportunistic political propaganda by both herself and members of an inadequately presented NGO.
It is precisely reports such as these which undermine the BBC’s reputation as an accurate and impartial broadcaster and it is especially disturbing to see such a senior BBC correspondent engaged in blatantly political reporting.
Europe and Islam: A clash of failures
French secularism in particular faces a crisis with Islam. Secularism in the West has been historically, psychically, and spiritually conditioned by its fight with the Christian Church. Because the Muslim community lacks the Christian church's hierarchical and ecclesiastical structures, the French state simply invented those structures for Muslims, in order to have a group with which to interface and negotiate. France invented the offense against secularism of "wearing large crosses" to school in order to make its ban on the hijab look impartial.
These mutually confirming failures create a sense of dread. Fear is explosive. France's universalism has nothing to offer many Muslims. And as some Muslims spurn the gifts on offer, France withdraws into reaction or uneasy silence. Within hours of the attack on Paris, President François Hollande proposed measures that had, until that day, been seen as the property of the French far-right. Closing the border, declaring a state of emergency, moving to crush ISIS at home and abroad. With another shock, what other previously unthinkable policies could be seen as commonsense and necessary?
For now, most French intellectuals are offering their rote prayers to the French way of things, saying that the shock of the Paris attacks means that French values must be deepened. But after so much investment — financial, political, and spiritual — in these universal values and the European project, what will happen if Islam reveals them to be as parochial and historically contingent as the singing of La Marseillaise? What steps into the void when the gentle gods of French universalism die as an irrelevance?
The Strange Case of the Secular Progressive-Islamist Alliance
One of the frequently cited quips in the halls of Congress is that politics makes for strange bedfellows, meaning that some alliances between Democrats and Republicans, especially given today's toxic environment in Washington, are hard to fathom. However, perhaps even more difficult to understand is the strange affinity that has developed over the past two decades between Islamists – radical Muslims – and the American progressive movement, or what Michael Walsh has termed the "unholy left."
At first glance, the two entities seem utterly different – one proceeding from the darker recesses of Islamic culture, and the other a seemingly quintessential product of American idealism. In fact, however, what we find between the two political movements is a confluence of interests and perspectives on a variety of matters. Indeed, often the affinity of these two outlooks is frightening.
For instance, both share an animus bordering on hatred for Christianity and Judaism, with the secular progressives trying to expunge Christians from public life, while Islamists yearn to annihilate Jews. Certainly, academic progressives do nothing to discourage the anti-Semitic hatred of Muslims from being expressed on American campuses, as David Horowitz recently pointed out. Why, he wonders, do prominent American universities, such as Brandeis and UCLA, permit offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood to have free rein on their campuses? "Any other group that preached hatred of ethnic groups or supported barbaric terrorists who slaughter men, women and children as part of a demented mission to cleanse the earth of infidels would face campus sanctions, disciplinary action, and be charged with conduct code violations."
Belgium Battles 'Failed State' Tag And 'Islamo-Socialism' Accusations After Paris Attacks
Belgium is battling accusations that it has become a “failed state” whose linguistic and communal divisions contributed to failures that let it become a jihadist base for the Paris attacks.
Years of increasing federalism have deepened rifts between the wealthy country’s French-, Flemish- and German-speaking regions, leaving it with little sense of nationhood and a dysfunctional, multi-layered bureaucracy.
A brief moment of unity in the face of its own terror alert in Brussels merely papered over the underlying problems that made Belgium unable to dismantle a leading European jihadist hotspot that produced two of the Paris attackers.
Internationally there has been harsh criticism since French President Francois Hollande said that the Paris attacks which killed 130 people were “planned in Syria, prepared and organised in Belgium.”
French newspaper Le Monde warned in an editorial this week that “this state without a nation risks becoming a nation without a state”.
Paris attacks: How the influence of Saudi Arabia sowed the seeds of radicalism in Belgium
There are many reasons why Belgium has become a hotbed of radical Islamism. Some of the answers may lie in the implanting of Saudi Salafist preachers in the country from the 1960s.
Keen to secure oil contracts, Belgium’s King Baudouin made an offer to Saudi King Faisal, who had visited Brussels in 1967: Belgium would set up a mosque in the capital, and hire Gulf-trained clerics.
At the time, Belgium was encouraging Moroccan and Turkish workers to come into the country as cheap labour. The deal between the two Kings would make the mosque their main place of worship.
Brussels already had the perfect place. An oriental pavilion designed by Belgian architect Ernest Van Humbeek had been built in the capital’s Cinquantenaire park in 1879, but was falling into disuse. The 1967 deal gave the Saudis a 99-year, rent-free lease. The pavilion was refashioned by the Saudis, opening in 1978 as the Great Mosque of Brussels, as well as the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium (ICC).
Although the mosque was treated as the official voice of Muslims in Belgium, its radical Salafist teachings came from a very different tradition to the Islam of the new immigrants. Today, there are around 600,000 people of Moroccan and Turkish origin in Belgium, a country of 11 million.
WaPo: The Saudis' 'Religious-Industrial Complex'
A number of human rights scandals in Saudi Arabia (including cases of public floggings, beheadings and “crucifixions”) have further added fuel to that criticism. In the aftermath of the Islamic State’s attacks in Paris, Algerian writer Kamel Daoud summed up what many were thinking with a powerful article for the New York Times. “Daesh has a mother: the invasion of Iraq,” Daoud explained, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “But it also has a father: Saudi Arabia and its religious-industrial complex.”
It’s a harsh criticism and one that Saudi officials have gone to lengths to deflect and counter. At least on the surface, the Islamic State and Saudi Arabia are clearly opposed to each other, with the extremist organization believing that the Saudi state is run by apostates. Militants from the Islamic State have carried out at least four bombings on Saudi mosques in the past year.
The Saudi state does appear to have thrown its weight behind the fight against the Islamic State, with considerable amounts of funds and resources going to projects designed to counter terrorism and extremism. “I think the Saudis view themselves as being at the forefront of the global effort to combat terrorism,” Fahad Nazer, a former political analyst at the Saudi Embassy in Washington and a senior political analyst at JTG, said.
So is Saudi Arabia doing enough in the fight against the Islamic State? And is it enough?
John Bolton: To Defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni State
This is why, after destroying the Islamic State, America should pursue the far-reaching goal of creating a new Sunni state. Though difficult in the near term, over time this is more conducive to regional order and stability.
Creating an American-led anti-Islamic State alliance instead of Moscow’s proposed coalition will require considerable diplomatic and political effort. American ground combat forces will have to be deployed to provide cohesion and leadership. But this would be necessary to defeat the Islamic State even if the objective were simply to recreate the status quo ante.
The Anbar Awakening and the American military’s 2007 “surge” provide the model, as do Kurdish successes against the Islamic State. Local fighters armed, trained and advised by the United States would combine with Arab and American conventional forces.
The military operation is not the hardest part of this post-Islamic State vision. It will also require sustained American attention and commitment. We cannot walk away from this situation as we did from Iraq in 2011.
The new “Sunni-stan” may not be Switzerland. This is not a democracy initiative, but cold power politics. It is consistent with the strategic objective of obliterating the Islamic State that we share with our allies, and it is achievable.
French Ambassador to US Outrages Jewish Expats Over Post-Paris-Attack Message
The letter expressed horror in the face of the coordinated ISIS attacks on innocent people, without mentioning the name of the terrorist organization, and an appeal for unity and solidarity during these trying times.
A debate on social media among French Jews ensued, due to a particular passage in the missive.
After expressing solidarity with the people of France and praising the United States and President Obama for “being on our side in the fight against extremism and terrorism,” Araud wrote: “These are the foundations of our model of society that the terrorists seek to destroy: Yesterday journalists and Jews; now ordinary citizens whose only crime was to enjoy life on a Friday night in Paris.”
One Jewish ex-pat, Ron Agam, a French-born Israeli artist and activist living in New York, posted his outrage on Facebook.
“Tonight French people in the US received a letter from the French Ambassador about the events in Paris. To my surprise I learned that I — the Jew that I am — was not a regular French citizen, I was a Jew.”
Islamic State Fighter: Kill Women Who ‘Provoke Sexual Desires of Men’
Any Muslim present at the French establishments targeted by extremists two weeks ago deserved to die for violating Islamic law by engaging in “dancing and alcohol and prostitution and singing.”
Women who refuse to cover their heads should be killed for “provoking the sexual desires of men.”
These sentiments were expressed by Abu Baqer al-Maqdadis in a radio interview Sunday. Maqdadis is a 30-year old Palestinian from Gaza who recently fought for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He returned to the Gaza Strip after being injured in Iraq.
He discussed his experiences as an ISIS fighter on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” the popular weekend talk radio program broadcast from Tel Aviv, Israel.
Klein asked Maqdadis how ISIS could justify firing indiscriminately at civilians in a French café, concert hall, and outside a sports stadium, especially since the Islamic gunmen could have killed other Muslims.
Revealed: The three British women ISIS supporters who are spreading extremist ideology in UK and encouraging young girls to join the jihadists in Syria
A group of British women have been exposed as ISIS sympathisers who are promoting extremist ideology in the UK and encouraging 'impressionable young girls' to travel to Syria.
Their behaviour came to light following a 12-month undercover investigation which saw a team of Muslim reporters infiltrate the group's inner circle.
The three ISIS supporters are seen glorifying jihadis, telling young Muslim women that Britain is waging war against them and using racially abusive language to describe Jews and Israelis.
In a trailer for a documentary that aired on Monday one is heard saying 'We do not submit to the law of any country, any nation' while Syria is promoted on Twitter as 'the best of Allah's lands on earth'.
Facebook Censored Me for Publicizing Islamist Atrocities
Three weeks ago, just as I flew to India to speak at the "India Ideas Conclave" in Goa about international jihadi terrorism, I received a warning message from Facebook. The social media conglomerate said I could no longer post any messages on my timeline addressed to my 80,000 friends and followers worldwide. It said I had violated Facebook's "community standards."
My offence? I had shared a video that implicated Islamic State (ISIS) in committing war crimes against enemy prisoners of war.
As much as I was shocked to learn of Facebook's decision, the irony was I found the video on Facebook. It did not show beheadings and I had labeled the post with a warning of graphic violence, and that "viewer discretion is advised".
None of that mattered. For days, I tried to reach Facebook, with no success.
I discovered that Facebook's security was apparently being handled out of an office in Hyderabad, India, home to some of that country's leading and most vocal Islamists.
Facebook Hesitates, Then Removes Islamic State Page for Violating Community Standards
The big social media services have been generally aggressive about purging ISIS content—if sometimes unable to keep up with the sheer volume of it. One example is the “Khilafah News” page on Facebook. The social media giant initially hesitated to take it down, but upon review, concluded that it does violate their community standards.
The Foreign Desk filed a complaint with Facebook about Khilafah News (whose name is a reference to the “caliphate,” i.e. the religiously-ordained kingdom supposedly established by ISIS) on Sunday.
TFD quoted Khilafah News describing itself as an outlet for “official material published by the Islamic State,” including news items, video clips, and official statements. The creation of this Facebook page was widely trumpeted on Twitter, using a special hashtag. It may be intended as a replacement for a large number of ISIS-linked channels purged by the secure chat site Telegram, which was indifferent toward the presence of Islamic State militants until after the Paris terror attacks.
The Foreign Desk reported a particular photo posted on Khilafah News, which they did not reproduce in their report. Facebook replied that they had reviewed the photo for “hate speech” but found it was not in violation of Facebook’s prohibition against such messages.
Islamic State Video Taunts Western 'Coalition of Devils': 'Bring It On'
A new English-language propaganda video released on Tuesday, purportedly from the Islamic State’s Al-Hayat Media Center, claims that for all their military skill and superior technology, Western troops are weaker than jihadis.
America is portrayed as exhausted and demoralized from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, while ISIS fighters “haunt the mind of your soldiers and sew fear into their hearts.”
The video, which employs flashy graphics and a voice-over that sounds like the ranting of a video game super-villain, boasts about the size of the Islamic State’s khilafah (caliphate), which is already larger than Britain.
The “prophetic methodology” of this caliphate, “striving to follow the Koran and sura,” is supposedly far superior to Western states “built on man-made rules,” with armies that fight for “the interests of legislators, liars, fornicators, and corporations, and for the freedoms of sodomites.” The camera pans to various presidents during this rant, lingering on George W. Bush for the word “liars” and Bill Clinton for “fornicators.”
Radio 4 showcases politicised soundbites in debate on Islamist terror
Notably, whilst other contributors did later question Bunglawala’s basic theory that Western foreign policy is the root cause of Islamist extremism, not one of them adequately challenged his very selective and redundant portrayal of the Arab-Israeli conflict as the prime factor on the Islamist terrorists’ grievance list or his subsequent conclusions. Moreover, none of them raised the very pertinent point that the ‘occupation’ described by Bunglawala came about due to the belligerent invasion of Israel by Arab states which – in a manner eerily resonant today – had long refused to countenance the sovereignty of a different ethnic and religious minority in the region, even before their attempt to erase it in 1967.
The fact that the no less relevant issue of the part played by the Sunni-Shia dispute in the rise of Islamist extremism was completely absent from this debate was yet another factor which limited its ability to enhance audience understanding of the topic supposedly under discussion.
It is not unreasonable to assume that in the wake of the latest attacks in Paris, BBC audiences are more than ever in need of clear, sensible and informative discussion on the issue of Islamist terror. The UK has plenty of experts with a real, objective contribution to make to discussion of that subject. Unfortunately for Radio 4 audiences, Inayat Bungawala is not one of them.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Imbeciles Torn Over Blaming Global Warming Or Israel For ISIS (satire)
The Prince of Wales, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, and other prominent imbeciles have variously attributed the ascent and success of Daesh, as it is known by its Arabic acronym, either to a drought that hit Syria and parts of Iraq in 2009, or to Israel, which would stand to benefit from an Arab world divided against itself and distracted by the group. Other, more marginal causes have occasionally been advanced by stupid individuals, but none have gained the traction of the two major competing idiotic theories.
Partisans of the idiotic global warming argument, including the prince and Friedman, point to statements by American President Barack Obama that climate change represents the number one threat to global security. “Obama is in a position to know,” insisted Friedman. “That’s why he’s willing to suborn economic development to environmental concerns – for example with the Keystone Pipeline. We see no such commitment from this administration when it comes to the Islamic State itself. Obviously, that’s because the president rightly prioritizes addressing the roots of the problem over merely treating the symptoms. You can bet as securely as I did on the Oslo peace process that once climate change is taken care of, the Islamic state will disappear almost as an afterthought.”
In the other corner stand a varied group of activists and agitators who dispute the link between climate and Daesh. Instead, these willful imbeciles note the many ways in which Israel could benefit from the success of the Islamic State, employing a tool of reasoning that has only been wrong the vast majority of the time: determining who stands to gain the most from a given development and mapping that exactly to the culprit. “It’s a simple question of connecting the dots,” said blogger Richard Silverstein. “With the inerrant starting assumption that the world’s evils begin and end with Zionism, it’s an airtight case. It’s how we know the moon landings were faked, that Castro was behind Kennedy’s assassination, and that 9/11 was an inside job.”
Why NATO Should Dump Turkey
It's time to dump Turkey from NATO, and immediately suspend its accession process to the European Union (EU). There, I said it.
Some of us have been expressing deep concerns about the regress of the country of Ataturk for years, while others, including Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his European Parliamentary colleague Daniel Hannan MEP, have been agitating for an immediate inclusion of Turkey into the EU. It simply cannot happen.
This morning's downing of a Russian jet underscores the problems with Turkey's NATO membership and EU accession. It is perhaps not the worst example of how Turkey is not fit to be in a formal military alliance with the United Kingdom and the United States, but it underscores the point that the country is simply not ready – not even as ready as it was pre-2000. The country has regressed in three key areas as far as Europe and the United States should be concerned: on security matters, on human rights matters, and as a hub for mass migration into Europe.
Russia to boycott Turkish goods; 'We'll buy from Israel instead'
Russia is preparing a raft of retaliatory economic measures against Turkey after Ankara downed one of its warplanes, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday - with Israel among several countries likely to benefit as Moscow looks for alternative trading and tourism partners.
"The government has been ordered to work out a system of response measures to this act of aggression in the economic and humanitarian spheres," Medvedev told a cabinet meeting in televised comments.
He said under Russian law the broad punitive steps could include halting joint economic projects, restricting financial and trade transactions and changing customs duties.
Measures could also target the tourism and transport sectors, labor markets and "humanitarian contacts", Medvedev said.
With Turkey and Egypt out, Israel looks to woo Russian tourists
Egypt is beset by Islamic State-linked terrorism that downed a plane. Turkey is enemy No. 1 after shooting down a fighter jet. Where, oh where, are Russian tourists supposed to go to feel the warm sun on their heads and the water lapping at their sandy feet?
Tourism officials in Jerusalem are hoping the answer is Israel, as the country embarks on a campaign to fill the vacation vacuum for the large Russian-speaking market.
Israel is significantly increasing its efforts to attract Russian tourists, investing an extra $2.6 million in the campaign.
Tourism Ministry spokeswoman Michal Gerstler said Israel has focused on Russia for a month “in an attempt to create an alternative.”
Erdogan denies Russia charge he’s buying oil from Islamic State
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday angrily rejected Russian claims that Ankara is buying any oil from Islamic State, insisting that his country’s fight against the jihadist group is “undisputed.”
“Shame on you. Those who claim we buy oil from Daesh (IS) are obliged to prove it. If not, you are a slanderer,” Erdogan said, lashing out at Russian charges that came after the downing of a warplane on the Syrian border.
Erdogan also said that Russia was Turkey’s biggest energy supplier, followed by Iran.
Turkish F-16 jets shot down the warplane on Tuesday, prompting a tough response from Moscow, a major trade partner of Ankara.
Israel’s Total Lack of Involvement in Current Turkish-Russian Crisis is Leaving Average Israelis With a Sense of Confusion and Bewilderment (satire)
Israelis in the street are reacting to Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian jet over Syria with a sense of fear and confusion. But not because they had anything to do with it. Rather, the presence of a military and diplomatic showdown in the neighborhood where nobody mentions Israel is leading to cases of cognitive dissonance and vertigo as the Israeli man and woman on the street tries to wrap their collective heads around this concept. The Daily Freier walked up and down Dizengoff Street this morning interviewing aimless and befuddled Israelis on this critical topic.
“It just doesn’t make sense. This has NOTHING TO DO WITH US!” noted a perplexed Natan R. as he scratched his head. “I know it sounds crazy, but I bought Haaretz this morning hoping that the editorial would say it was actually all our fault.”
“I couldn’t sleep last night” explained a despondent Yonatan G. “I stayed up all night flipping through the foreign satellite channels hoping Al Jazeera or RU TV would have a good angle on why Israel is responsible. But nothing. And the Americans have been no help either. Is it too much to ask that John Kerry insinuates that this was somehow caused by the Occupation???”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Tensions Between Ankara, D.C. Over Notion That Turkey Needs Pardon (satire)
Government officials expressed outrage today at the annual American ritual of a presidential pardon issued every Thanksgiving to Turkey, saying that any such practice wrongly implies that the Mediterranean nation has done something that would necessitate a pardon.
Turkish President Racip Tayyep Erdogan threatened to recall his ambassador from Washington if US President Barack Obama goes through with the Turkey-pardoning ceremony held on the White House lawn each Thanksgiving. Erdogan called the practice “a provocation” and not becoming of the relationship between two NATO member states that are supposed to be allies in the war against terrorism.
“It is a travesty that the US thinks Turkey is need of a pardon,” Erdogan told reporters. “Turkey acts within its rights, and it is offensive that this great and ancient nation requires a pardon or forgiveness from anyone. It is the US that must apologize, and Turkey that should be in the position of granting or refusing such clemency.”
Analysts offered multiple opinions as to the offense that Erdogan believes Washington has implied. “It’s obviously the Armenian Genocide,” insisted commentator York Sherpding. “A hundred years on, Turkey still denies its nascent government had a hand in the deaths of more than a million Armenian Christians, and it’s just the sort of thing Obama would want to pardon.”

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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